Colleges across the country are not always located in big metropolitan cities, as a large majority of them are in smaller, secondary cities. Knowing this, Hire a Helper, a hybrid moving company, completed a study of college towns trying to locate the hottest markets for real estate potential.
Key findings from the report include:
- The average price of a home in a college town in 2023 is $377,800, 7% lower than the national average of ($406,200), according to Redfin
- Homes in college towns have appreciated by 4% in the last 12 months, compared to a 1.6% growth rate in home prices across the United States
- The best college town for real estate investment is Indiana, Pennsylvania due to relatively low home prices ($160k), their solid projected growth (+12%), and potentially high rental income
- Gary, Indiana is the least expensive college town in the United States with an average home costing around $71,000 in 2023
- Among college towns, Athens, Georgia is the hardest real estate market to get into, with an average home price of $355,400 and 64 new listings over 100 home sales
As the average cost of room and board continues to increase (now averaging some $12,500 per year at four-year colleges), many parents are choosing to buy a house as a cheaper housing option that also acts as an investment.
McPherson, Kansas is in second place, with house prices slightly higher ($179,800) and recent growth slightly slower (14% year-over-year). Two more towns from Kansas made our top 10—Winfield, Kansas (#5), and Atchison, Kansas (#10), both with a median home price of around $150,00 and a healthy supply of homes for sale.
Geographically, the 10 highest-ranked towns stretch across the eastern part of the US. The furthest south is Brownwood, Texas (#3) where homes are expected to appreciate 20% over the next five years. In the north, there’s Williamsport, Pennsylvania (#6), where a typical home costs $136,800.
Click here to view the report in its entirety.